A father who truly loves his daughter, will find no other man acceptable for her unless he realizes that, that man will die trying to protect her and make her happy just as he has for his entire life.
Dad's have different approaches as to how they will respond whenever their daughter brings a guy home. I can laugh about this now, but when my Dad met my future husband Creg, he jokingly threatened him at the dinner table. My mother chuckled under her breath, and reprimanded him in the best way she knew how in order to protect me from utter mortification (It was too late for that), and I looked at my father with steam coming from my ears. He ignored us both and polite smile crept on to his face while they remained eye contact. I think they communicated through telepathy or something that day. I'm sure my father said to him, "This is my daughter, you better not mess this up and you BETTER not break her heart." However, Creg wasn't intimidated and he probably thought back "You have nothing to worry about, and it's going to take a lot more than that to scare me away." From that moment on a level of respect has developed between the two of them. My Father has grown to love and truly care for his "son" and vice versa.
I have never seen my Dad wear his emotions on his sleeve or have a more serious persona than that of my wedding day. I remember when he came into my dressing room to give me one last kiss and he looked so sad. I said "Dad, it's okay. I'm STILL your baby girl." He silently shook his head, hardly made eye contact, gave me a kiss and went back downstairs to mentally prepare himself. I think he took the idea of giving me away a little to literal that day. However, the time came when I was ready to become a Mrs. and there wasn't anything he could do about it. My processional began to play and we took the walk. I was smiling, waving, and crying like I had just won the Miss America pageant, but not my Dad. No polite smile crept on his face this time. He sternly looked straight ahead and focused on my husband in the same way he did at the dinner table when they first met. Only this time, the only one smiling between the two was Creg. We approached the altar and he prepared to "give me away" until his joking side emerged again. As my hand was about to leave my father's and hold my husband's my father literally and lovingly smacked his hand away not once, but 3 times. My guests laughed and I gave him the "stop it" look. He then grabbed his hand, pulled him in for a hug and said something to him that I may never know.
My father was a trooper that day. He gave a Father of the Bride speech that should go down in record books. I don't remember it word for word and in retrospect I wish I had a videographer for that day just so I could here it again. Yet, his speech was so meaningful that we were both crying and I was audibly sobbing. I had never heard him say such admirable things about me before. I'm sure that he has done so when he bragged about me with his Fatherly pride or had private discussions with my mother, but this was the first time that I had heard them. When his speech was over he wiped his tears away and he smiled, he shook Creg's hand, gave me a kiss and went back to his seat. I knew that I had made him proud.
I just want to say Thank You for being there. Thank you for the pep talks that I still get from you. Thank you for making me come inside in the middle of my summer breaks from school just to do Algebra. Thank you for telling me that "I Gotta Be" and "I can't fly with the eagles if I hang with the buzzards." Thank you for teaching me how to respect myself and be a lady in the best way you know how. Thank you for teaching me how to defend myself from the cruelties of the world by giving me a tough outer shell-- that is only to be cracked when necessary. Thank You for being you and making me into the person that I am. Because without you, I wouldn't be.
Love Your Baby Girl,